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Republican Vampire
Jun 2, 2007



Stuporstar posted:

That makes so much sense. When I consider the tone Nathan Barley had compared to Black Mirror, That Waldo Moment fits in so much better with the former.

Once you know it was supposed to be a Nathan Barley episode it gets really easy to recognize that, for instance, Jamie is a Black Mirror version of Dan. It just all slots into place.

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BSam
Nov 24, 2012



DAAAN ASHCROOOOOOOFT!

Rarity
Oct 21, 2010

PONYTAR
PONYTAR
PONYTAR




Republican Vampire posted:

I think Brooker only really kept at it because he got drawn into the utterly poo poo-miserable world of Ten O'Clock Live and most of what he's written for the show has this weird autobiographical through-line.

The end to 15 Million Merits makes it seem like Brooker is the most depressed person in the world

Dugong
Mar 18, 2013

I don't know what to do,
I'm going to lose my mind


I knew there was a Christmas special but didn't realise it was so soon. I guess having it around Christmas day would send half the country into depression.

meristem
Oct 2, 2010
I HAVE THE ETIQUETTE OF STIFF AND THE PERSONALITY OF A GIANT CUNT.

If you enjoyed 15 Million Merits, then you'll enjoy Sight: http://vimeo.com/46304267 . I first watched it in a gamification course, appropriately enough.

RoughDraft2.0
Mar 8, 2007

We really like your car, Mrs. LaRusso.

OldSenileGuy posted:

I guess I'm in the minority for not really liking Entire History of You. I shouldn't say I didn't like it, but rather that I was disappointed by it. They set up this great premise that could be taken in any number of interesting directions

You might be interested to hear the writer (forget his name--don't believe it was Brooker's episode) sold the film rights to Robert Downey's production company and they plan to expand on it considerably. Apparently, the writer had more ambitious plans for the premise that had to be downsized due to budget considerations.

Any word on when/how Americans can see the Christmas episode? I figure Netflix will add it eventually, but it sucks having to wait.

Affi
Dec 18, 2005

Break bread wit the enemy

X GON GIVE IT TO YA


I absolutely hated 15 million merits in a good way. If that makes sense. I just felt so loving miserable about the world and life in general.

Irisi
Feb 18, 2009



RoughDraft2.0 posted:

You might be interested to hear the writer (forget his name--don't believe it was Brooker's episode) sold the film rights to Robert Downey's production company and they plan to expand on it considerably. Apparently, the writer had more ambitious plans for the premise that had to be downsized due to budget considerations.

It's Jesse Armstrong who sold on the rights. He's been an excellent, excellent writer for UK TV over the past few years, with The Thick of It, Peep Show, Fresh Meat and a few things for Chris Morris under his belt. (And if you think Brooker's bleak, you should watch some of Morris' stuff. Bloody hell, it goes to some very dark places)

Aye Doc
Jul 19, 2007

my name is john carter


Affi posted:

I absolutely hated 15 million merits in a good way. If that makes sense. I just felt so loving miserable about the world and life in general.

the intro makes it seem such a bleak world. nobody speaks for like ten minutes, we don't even know Bing's name until twenty minutes, everything in the physical world is gray despite the screen being blanketed in the artificial world's colors.

thefncrow
Mar 14, 2001


Dugong posted:

I knew there was a Christmas special but didn't realise it was so soon. I guess having it around Christmas day would send half the country into depression.

RoughDraft2.0 posted:

Any word on when/how Americans can see the Christmas episode? I figure Netflix will add it eventually, but it sucks having to wait.

Relevant to both posts, in the US, it is premiering on Christmas Day. It's airing on whatever that special channel DirecTV has, 101 Channel or something like that I think?

Regy Rusty
Apr 26, 2010



Grimey Drawer

I think I'd have liked the Waldo episode better if it hadn't focused the whole episode on the first campaign with only a flash forward to show how Waldo took over the world. A longer timeline showing Waldo's rise to power would've been more interesting. Though on the other hand that would be kind of against the style of the show since all the stories so far have focused on a single character. Waldo just didn't work that well.

All the other ones were great though. 15 Million Merits was by far my favorite. The judge's reaction to Bing's rant was just so pitch perfect and instantly showed just how hopeless the whole thing was, even before we see what Bing becomes.

My second favorite was probably Be Right Back because the whole thing was basically just like a horror film where I'm going no no no no don't do it for the entire length of the episode.

White Bear was amazing too of course. I was expecting there to be some sort of reveal, like the whole thing was a scientific experiment or some such thing. Institutionalized unending emotional torture as punishment for a crime was something I could never have even imagined.

Miss Nomer
May 7, 2007
Saving the world in a thong

Regy Rusty posted:

White Bear was amazing too of course. I was expecting there to be some sort of reveal, like the whole thing was a scientific experiment or some such thing. Institutionalized unending emotional torture as punishment for a crime was something I could never have even imagined.
White Bear was my favorite because I was also surprised by the twist but also horrified when I realized what this episode was trying to say about our justice system. When the main character was in front of the crowd being told who she really was and what she did, it was quickly glossed over that she had said in court that she hadn't been acting under her own will but was under the sway of her fiance. After he committed suicide, all the anger got taken out on her.
Now, we've got this woman who has been mind whipped countless times and is not the person she used to be nor does she even recognize her old self. Even though the old her wasn't innocent, this punishment has made the current version a totally different person with no connect to who she used to be but still paying for the crimes. And then you've got the everyday public going out to White Bear to take part in this and are having a wonderful time happily watching someone be scared and tortured with no empathy. What's the point of our justice system, to rehabilitate or to punish?


It was the most disturbing one for me by far.

Miss Nomer fucked around with this message at Dec 7, 2014 around 23:44

OldSenileGuy
Mar 13, 2001


Regy Rusty posted:


My second favorite was probably Be Right Back because the whole thing was basically just like a horror film where I'm going no no no no don't do it for the entire length of the episode.

Be Right Back was probably also my second favorite, behind The National Anthem.

However, I found Be Right Back to be much creepier in the first half, before it goes full-on sci-fi with the robot showing up. The first half, in addition to being majorly hosed up, really freaked me out because of how plausible it was. I could definitely see something like that happening within the next 10-15 years.

...of SCIENCE!
Apr 26, 2008

43 species of parrot?! Nipples for men?! SLUGS?! Are we not in the hands of a lunatic?! If I were creating the world I wouldn't mess about with butterflies and daffodils. I would have started with lasers, 8 o'clock, day one!


Bown posted:

White Bear is one I always thought might not work as well for Americans as it does for Brits. Do they really have tabloid justice to the extent we have here?

America has the death penalty. We also have this insane idea that prison surprise sex is "justice" (look at the comments for any story about a sexual deviant being convicted and I guarantee one of the top comments will be about how glad they are that the perpetrator will be suffering at the hands of Tyrone/Bubba in prison), so between the two I felt like the idea of a person being forced to endure countless amnesia-induced lifetimes of torture under the guise of "justice" was a very biting critique of our idea of criminal justice as decided by the grieving families of the victims and an outraged public seeking retribution.

HUGE SPACEKABLOOIE
Mar 31, 2010

Isn't it weird how scientists can imagine all the matter of the universe exploding out of a dot smaller than the head of a pin, but they can't come up with a more evocative name for it than The Big Bang?


Seen the first three so far and Jesus. loving. Christ. - The first episode had a hint of humor but 15 Million Merits and The History of You just kicked me straight in the balls and made no apologies for it. Now I'm totally convinced we've already destroyed the world. It's too late, we opened Pandora's box.

Josh Lyman
May 24, 2009




I can barely watch White Bear because the director, Carl Tibbetts that loving stinkyhole, has the shakycam turned up to 200%. What the gently caress is this garbage?

Dugong
Mar 18, 2013

I don't know what to do,
I'm going to lose my mind


I just rewatched White Bear and didn't find the shakeycam too bad?

It is being filmed through phone cameras though so it does make sense I guess

F Stop Fitzgerald
Dec 11, 2010





Before Black Mirror showed up on Netflix I remember trying to explain the synopsis of The National Anthem to my fiancee and her just giving me a weird look like, "uhh ok " and I realized how ridiculous I sounded. Then a few weeks later when it showed up, I showed it to her. She was speechless.

On paper, Black Mirror sounds like the most contrived heavy-handed crap imaginable, and the fact that Brooker and co. make it work so goddamn well is what makes it so much more impressive to me.

Regy Rusty
Apr 26, 2010



Grimey Drawer

Honestly I'm glad I just took my brother's recommendation and watched the first episode without looking up anything about it. A synopsis of The National Anthem. would probably have convinced me not to give it a chance.

Nuts and Gum
Mar 15, 2010

Together at last!

Just finished the 2nd ep, much better than I expected it to be.

Nuts and Gum
Mar 15, 2010

Together at last!

Dude got cucked in the past in ep 3. Definitely the weakest ep so far, but even so I watched it all the way through. I wish it was the future.

muscles like this!
Jan 17, 2005

In the end, his giant supernatural powers were too much for it.


Be Right Back is weird one because it starts out plausible but then kind of spirals into weirdness when she buys the robot duplicate.

Irisi
Feb 18, 2009



muscles like this? posted:

Be Right Back is weird one because it starts out plausible but then kind of spirals into weirdness when she buys the robot duplicate.

There's a very "Tales of the Unexpected" feel about that one. Think Charlie was channeling Roald Dahl in his most morbid, misanthropic mood when writing that script, particularly the attic scene at the very end.

Vitamin P
Nov 19, 2013

just so it's clear

Regy Rusty posted:

Honestly I'm glad I just took my brother's recommendation and watched the first episode without looking up anything about it. A synopsis of The National Anthem. would probably have convinced me not to give it a chance.

What makes it for me is that it's played completely straight, there's no winking at the camera. The fact that it's also the closest setting to the real world, and doesn't rely on fictional technology, makes it a little more engaging to me too, and the acting is just absolutely spot on throughout. It's easily my favourite episode even if it doesn't really fit thematically.

The Waldo Moment is the other setting that is basically our world, but for me it's also the weakest by a long way. The conclusion doesn't feel like a logical consequence of the events, and there are bizarre inconsistencies. When the producer dude takes over Waldo and no-one notices, it falls flat because it's obvious to the audience that the humour has just changed. The crowd clapping and cheering the sudden violence feels false. The abrupt introduction of the sinister American to mark the point that it all starts going wrong is quite weak plotting to be honest, and concluding with outright fascism emerging because people love a cartoon character so much is just, what? With every other episode I could imagine the population of our world could be dropped into that setting and react the same way, but in Waldo ordinary people are turned into loving idiots for the sake of the plot.

White Bear and 15 Million Merits are fantastic, just because they are so well written. You feel so much sympathy for the lead characters, and the conclusions are incredibly affecting without feeling mawkish. White Bear especially is just chilling because of how true-to-life it feels, and it also feels like the only episode that is making a coherent political point that this poo poo we do is wrong and we need to stop.

The History of You never really clicked for me, just because the technology was too outlandish and the characters felt too posh, for want of a better word, and they were all so unlikable. It doesn't help that I've never done that 'obsess over past interactions' behaviour, maybe the episode is more relatable for people that do. All the ancillary uses of the technology, the security guard checking past experiences and 'get it up on screen then!', felt very naturalistic though.

Be Right Back is the only episode I've only watched once, partly because I found it kind of dull and possibly because I was going through a bad break up and it hit a little close to home. Every episode is basically required viewing though.

Vitamin P
Nov 19, 2013

just so it's clear

This fan made trailer for the first 3 episodes is pretty ace as well, presenting it all as one setting https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jROLrhQkK78

Hoops
Aug 19, 2005


A Black Mark For Retarded Posting

Vitamin P posted:

The History of You never really clicked for me, just because the technology was too outlandish and the characters felt too posh, for want of a better word, and they were all so unlikable.
As a character piece though I think their poshness was definitely deliberate. The lead was a northerner from a working class background, with insecurities over whether he belongs in the circles he now finds himself in (middle class job, nice house, wife's pretentious friends). Remember that scene when he first arrives at the dinner party and his wife's friend can't remember meeting him and he's awkward and uncomfortable in his own skin? It's was all framed around setting him up as the guy who worries about his standing. He's so threatened by the smug guy because he's confident and entitled, the public school smug rich prick that he can never be, that his girlfriend really wanted to gently caress. There's quite a lot of subtext in the episode that drives his obsessive jealousy.

It was definitely a deliberate choice to make it a middle class setting because his wife is played by Jodie Whittaker who has a pretty strong Yorkshire accent in real life, but the character is much more well-spoken. So it wasn't a coincidence of casting that his wife came from a different background to him.

Someone earlier said that they didn't like the episode because it had this world-changing sci-fi idea and didn't really explore it. I disagree with that too, the episode is supposed to be a teleplay about a very small group of people in the backdrop of a world where you can go back and obsess over everything you've ever said or done. It's a framing device for the story but not the story itself, it's the only episode that was really done that way and it think it has to be appraised slightly differently from the others.

HUGE SPACEKABLOOIE
Mar 31, 2010

Isn't it weird how scientists can imagine all the matter of the universe exploding out of a dot smaller than the head of a pin, but they can't come up with a more evocative name for it than The Big Bang?


Whoa, I was convinced his wife was Viva Bianca from Spartacus.

FilthyImp
Sep 30, 2002


History of You seemed like a jab at Life blogging and social media stalking. Like, you can already go through folks profiles and pictures and recreate a narrative if you want. Now amp it up 100 fold and make it so that you can capture, share and relive every waking interaction.

Folks are just as likely to use it destructively as they would to relive a child' first steps and other mushy milestones.

It was also a nice way to sidestep the obvious Glasshole etiquette question, because the chips make it so you're always recorded but in sch a discrete way you'd probably not change your reactions.

Scut
Aug 26, 2008

Such a hard working little power suit!


Lipstick Apathy

Vitamin P posted:

This fan made trailer for the first 3 episodes is pretty ace as well, presenting it all as one setting https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jROLrhQkK78

This trailer is excellent. I love how it doesn't spoil the plots of any of the episodes.

outlier
Jul 9, 2004
And yet, somehow, now it's my fault ...

F Stop Fitzgerald posted:

On paper, Black Mirror sounds like the most contrived heavy-handed crap imaginable, and the fact that Brooker and co. make it work so goddamn well is what makes it so much more impressive to me.

There's something to the writing of almost all the BM episodes where the social foibles and life are all so well observed. re: The History of You - Yes, if people could relive their memories, then interviews would be dissected, analysed and reanalysed. Yes, minor and fleeting moments would studied and agonised over. Yes, that was like so many pleasant yet irritatingly mannered dinner parties that I've been to.

But my favourite is in The National Anthem when one journo calls out "The Guardian is going to liveblog it!"

Which is absolutely something The Guardian would do.

Fiendish Dr. Wu
Nov 11, 2010

You done fucked up now!


outlier posted:

re: The History of You - Yes, if people could relive their memories, then interviews would be dissected, analysed and reanalysed. Yes, minor and fleeting moments would studied and agonised over. Yes, that was like so many pleasant yet irritatingly mannered dinner parties that I've been to.

I liked the reaction to the girl without the grain

muscles like this!
Jan 17, 2005

In the end, his giant supernatural powers were too much for it.


Late in the episode she tries to call the cops and they just hang up on her when she says she doesn't have one.

WarLocke
Jun 6, 2004

You are being watched.


I watched the first episode a while back and it got under my skin so much I didn't watch the rest. Maybe I should.

It's not really the pig loving, although that was disgusting. Just something about the episode and the way it was presented was really disturbing. Not even 'creepy', it just really wierded me out

Fatkraken
Jun 23, 2005

Fun-time is over.

Scut posted:

Can people recommend other shows or films that give some of the same sensations of existential dread and cultural panic that Black Mirror conveys? Doesn't need to be identical, but things that you might watch in the same sitting? It's old and a bit hokey but I found Ray Bradbury's The Illustrated Man gave some similar spooky vibes.

It's tough, because there's not that much in moving media but absolutely tons in literature. I am a big fan of modern shortform science fiction, and there are quite a few stories that are really black-mirror esque. Ray Bradbury is a great starting point, but you could also try Something like Suicide Coast from M John Harrison which is about people living vicariously through VR but is very down to earth and naturalistic with a barely-future setting, or The Head and the Hand by Christopher Priest which is about a man who mutilates himself in front of paying audiences and is impressively prescient for being written in 1973. Both of these I could see becoming black mirror episodes almost unaltered bar updating some of the references and setting for the latter.

Other bits and pieces from those writers as well as Geoff Ryman, Paulo Bacigalupi, Greg Egan, J G Ballard and many many more have a similar melancholy, slightly dark tone and near future setting. There's actually a minor movement in SF towards "Mundane" science fiction which limits itself to plausible and believeable use of science and technology as it exists at the time the story is written. Obviously there's a lot of variety in the kinds of stories that covers, but I would say most of Black Mirror actually fits that description so looking for other work in the genre is a good place to start.

I would LOVE for them to get someone like Harrison or Ryman to come in and write or co-write an episode, they're brilliant writers and it would be nice to see their stories come to life.

outlier
Jul 9, 2004
And yet, somehow, now it's my fault ...

Good call on Ryman and Priest.

It's comedy, but Chris Morris is famous for doing humour that's often morbid and a critique of the surrounding culture. His most recent work is the film "Four Lions" but his comedy series "Jam" was packed full of existential dread. (It was also not for everyone. Be warned.)

Fatkraken
Jun 23, 2005

Fun-time is over.

outlier posted:

his comedy series "Jam" was packed full of existential dread. (It was also not for everyone. Be warned.)

A kind soul on Youtube has isolated all the London Monologues from the radio version, Blue Jam.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0VeyN8HnHWs
(I don't think it's files because they're not available elsewhere to the best of my knowledge)

Zartosht
Jan 14, 2010


Ignorant American here; does the UK have a similar issue to the US with prisons being run by private companies? White Bear came off like the result of a merger between a prison corporation and a media conglomerate. They already use inmates as cheap labor, so why not fodder for extreme reality TV? Really, the only fantastical element of the whole episode was the memory wiper.

BSam
Nov 24, 2012



The Black Mirror: White Christmas episode is now less that 12 hours away (For those in the right country)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AOHy4Ca9bkw

Bring it on.

McDragon
Sep 11, 2007



I'm going to be bouncing off the walls in excitement by the time it airs. Black Mirror is generally amazing, even if it does make you feel like everything is poo poo for a bit. Especially after "White Bear" originally aired. There were a lot of people on Twitter who thought it was a good idea.

Been avoiding looking much up about this one. Just seen that advert C4 keep popping up and the synopsis on Sky (not very spoilery thank goodness).

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BSam
Nov 24, 2012



Black Mirror: White Christmas

Starts now in the UK, so yeah, reading any further before watching will almost definitely spoil it for you. You have been warned.

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